Dynamics of terricolous alpine lichen communities of the Alps and Mediterranean Mountains in a climate change perspective

Vallese, Chiara (2022) Dynamics of terricolous alpine lichen communities of the Alps and Mediterranean Mountains in a climate change perspective, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della terra, della vita e dell'ambiente, 34 Ciclo.
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This thesis focuses on the impact of climate change in alpine ecosystems stressing the response of high elevation terricolous lichen communities. In fact, despite the strong sensitivity of cryptogams to changes in climatic factors, information is still scanty.We collected records in 154 plots placed in the summit area of the Majella Massif. In Following a multitaxon approach, Chapter 1 includes cryptogams and vascular plants. We analysed patterns in species richness, beta diversity and functional composition. In Chapter 2, we analysed the relationships between climatic variables and phylogenetic diversity and structure indices. Chapter 3 provides a long-term response relative to the consequences of climate change on a representative terricolous lichen genus across the Alps. Chapter 4 explores the relationships between the species richness and the functional composition of lichen growing on two types of substrates (carbonatic and siliceous soils) along different elevation gradients in the Eastern Alps. Climate change could affect cryptogams and lichens much more than vascular plants in Mediterranean mountains. Contrasting species-climate and traits-climate relationships were found between lichens and bryophytes, suggesting that each group may be sensitive to different components of climate change. Ongoing climate change may also lead to a loss of genetic diversity at high elevation ranges in the Mediterranean mountains, pauperising the life history richness of lichens. Alpine results forecasted that moderate range loss dynamics will occur at low elevation and in peripheral areas of the alpine chain. Results also support the view that range dynamics could be associated with functional traits mainly related to water-use strategies, dispersal, and establishment ability. We also highlighted the importance of substrates as a main driver of both species’ richness and functional traits composition. A “trade-off” also occurs between stress tolerance and the competitive response of communities of terricolous lichens that grow above siliceous and carbonatic soils.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Vallese, Chiara
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Climate Change; Altitudinal Gradient; High Elevation Environments; Terricolous Lichens; Lichens; Mediterranean Mountains; Alps; Functional traits; Multitaxon Approach; Beta Diversity; Species distribution models; Modeling; Phylogenetic Indices; Soil Crusts
Data di discussione
27 Giugno 2022

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